A first-hand experience about retirement by Solace Financial client, Ian.
I ceased paid work in August 2013. It was not the “gold watch at the end of 30 years of Service” type of event. The mining project in Central Queensland that I was working on was completed. The engineering service company I was working for had no more suitable contracts so it was “thanks”, hand in your building access “Dog Tag” and away you go, type of event. I did have lunch with colleagues but, as there had been weekly farewell lunches for a while, mine did not feel that special. So, it was a low-key end and not really of my own timing.
Having been through this process before the prospect of trying to find further employment and the mental anguish of many job applications, specifically written resumes with no response from recruiters was not something to be entertained so I stopped being in paid employment.
The positive was that I did not have to work because our financial plans had come together just as predicted by Whittaker McNaught and Solace Financial. I still find this financial security hard to believe!
At the time we were living in Brisbane and we have since moved to Tasmania. There were no close family reasons for remaining, plus we did not like the heat of Brisbane Summers so we went south in search of a cooler climate. We also elected to go from a house to an apartment so we could leave behind the problems and work of maintaining gardens, even though we loved this activity. We could see that it would not be long before we were not fit enough to successfully do this activity so we took the opportunity to stop.
How has it all panned out?
On the apartment, we still miss the opportunity to garden, to pick fresh flowers and vegetables that are the fruits of our own endeavours. (We can buy them at a fantastic Farmers’ Market about three blocks away every Sunday!) We have stepped into the issues of Body Corporates. We were particularly under researched with the problems of Body Corporates.
On the positive the car gets very little use as we can walk to most activities. This exercise is good for our health.
On the financial side it has been difficult to get my head around the fact that we are spending and no longer earning. Time is pushing this problem further from the “front of mind”.
On the mental activity side we still have not found all the activities we need to fill our weeks. I am volunteering at a historic replica museum and this provides the opportunity to learn more of the history in response to our visitor’s questions. It also gives me contact with people. I am also doing some more volunteering for a church organisation in the form of energy auditing. Again this is mental stimulation.
Would I work again?
I would consider it if it was something I was interested in and where I could take time off at will! (Unlikely I guess!)
The final point I would make is about my “status”. I reject the title of “retired”. I am no longer in paid work. Please treat me based on who I am, not a title based on age or some other classification. (Contrast this with the fact that I am quite happy to show my Senior’s Card if it is worth a 10% discount!)